Tech Liberty NZ Defending civil liberties in the digital age

New Zealand’s government internet filter is already running

Posted on March 11, 2010

One of the big questions about the implementation of internet filtering in New Zealand has been ... when? We've made a number of Official Information Act requests to the Department of Internal Affairs and the answer has always been "in the next couple of months".

In a letter written on January the 20th, the DIA told us that they will be making an announcement regarding the implementation of the filter "in the near future". Well over a month later there has been no announcement.

The filter is already running

We now have new information from the Department that says that the filter is already running and that both Watchdog (since Feb 1st) and Maxnet (since Feb 26th) are already using it.

We can find nothing on their websites that announces this. And while Watchdog customers are paying for a filtered service, there is no sign on their website that Maxnet have told their customers that some of their internet traffic is being diverted through a government server.

Disappointment

We're disappointed that the government has started the roll out. We've written and linked to a number of articles that explain our opposition to internet filtering.

We're also disappointed with the way that the Department has sneaked the system into live usage without informing anyone.

It's not too late

While the roll out of the filter has started, it's still not too late to stop it. The Department will be contacting other ISPs and inviting them to sign up for the filter too.

Write to your ISP and tell them that you oppose government internet filtering. Tell them that you don't want them to use it. The more ISPs who don't use it, the more chance we have of the filter being closed down.

If you don't get a satisfactory answer from them, you might want to consider switching ISP. Orcon, Slingshot and Natcom have all said they won't be signing up for the government filtering system.

More information

See our internet filtering page for more information.

About Thomas Beagle

Co-founder and spokesperson for Tech Liberty
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  1. This is disgusting, our government is filtering what we can and cannot see via the filter – This is not good. Our govt already fines us for stepping out of line already, we get enough moderation as it is in society. Why do we need a internet filter for 3-5 million people? Australia needs the filter but why do we? Are we a dangerous group of people or something? Enforcing a web filter will not actually do anything, because all the pedophiles who want to get passed the filter can just use an international proxy or a VPN. So how is this super duper DIA filter going to stop my encrypted traffic? They can’t…. What a big waste of tax payers money. Why spend several million dollars for a filter that WILL NOT TARGET PEDOPHILES.

    Also – The filter has logging compatibility. Consider all your web viewing activities BREACHED. a member of the DIA would have viewed what you are doing. Don’t let them tell you that they don’t, because of course they would log all data – Its an easy way to tap in for the govt’s intelligence agency that have a few big domes that got popped not so long ago by a bunch of stoners.

    Anyway, I hope this comment gets through. Because everyone needs to know – The web filter can be bypassed, I would be happy to show an example.

    Happy Surfing


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